A new report by Forrester Research has revealed that RSS is still far from going mainstream as only 11% of web users use RSS. It further adds that most of the web users don’t know the importance or usability of RSS or how it can help them stay informed. The findings concludes that users need to be educated if RSS has to reach the numbers where marketers could exploit it.
The worst thing about the study is that only 17% out of the rest 89% non-RSS users are interested in RSS or the possibility of using it in future.
I believe this is rather a very grim situation because I survive on RSS and spend like 5 hours (no kidding) a day on Google Reader. I believe if you are not using RSS, then you are losing both your time and information. RSS helps you stay informed with information that matters to you.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary and some people have also started to call it Really Simple Syndication these days. Let’s take an example, if you want to read the newspaper daily then you either go to the newspaper shop and buy it or you can ask the newspaper vendor to deliver it at your home daily. RSS is latter. You subscribe to the RSS feed which is equivalent to asking the newspaper vendor for getting the newspaper daily at your home. After that you get the daily news or the latest content on a particular site delivered to you.
What do you need to use RSS?
All you need is a RSS feed reader in order to use RSS. This RSS feed reader will act like your home where the newspaper is delivered. Some of the notable RSS feed readers are:
I suggest you to use Google Reader because it is the best Feed reader in my experience and you shouldn’t have any doubt it if you are already using Google services.
How to start?
First of all you need to create an account on any RSS feed reader. I will use Google Reader as our RSS feed reader to tell you the simple steps on how to get feeds. Below is the screenshot of what your Google Reader Home page will look like.
You can click on the image and see the picture in full resolution.Â Let me also tell you that not all websites support RSS but good ones does. The pages that support RSS will glow up RSS icon in the address bar if you are using Mozilla Firefox and I believe similar functionality is also available in the latest version of Internet Explorer. RSS icon looks like this .
As I said before, most websites support RSS and you can add the particular site in your RSS feed reader by two ways, first by just adding the URL of the website and the other way is to click on the RSS feed icon which you see on the website or on the address bar in your browser. You will be taken one option where you’ll have to select select which feed reader you use (Google Reader in our case) to read feeds.
That’s the job done. You are ready to read feeds now and you may categorize the feeds of different websites just to make it look less messy.
The motive of this post is to encourage users to adopt RSS because it will benefit you guys in ways more than one.
You might bump into something called “Atom” while doing this which is just an enhanced version of RSS. Do ping me or just leave a comment on the post if you want to know more on that.
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